Source Book on the Government of England

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14.

The Fourth Reform Act

(1918)

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THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1918

7 & 8 Geo. V, Cap. 64.

PART I FRANCHISES

1.—(1) A man shall be entitled to be registered as a parliamentary elector for a constituency (other than a university constituency) if he is of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity, and—

(a) has the requisite residence qualification; or

(b) has the requisite business premises qualification.

(2) A man, in order to have the requisite residence qualification or business premises qualification for a constituency—

(a) must on the last day of the qualifying period be residing in premises in the constituency, or occupying business premises in the constituency, as the case may be; and

(b) must during the whole of the qualifying period have resided in premises, or occupied business premises, as the case may be, in the constituency, or in another constituency within the same parliamentary borough or parliamentary county, or within a parliamentary borough or parliamentary county contiguous to that borough or county, or separated from that borough or county by water, not exceeding at the nearest point six miles in breadth, measured in the case of tidal water from low-water mark.

For the purposes of this subsection the administrative county of London shall be treated as a parliamentary borough.

(3) The expression "business premises" in this section means land or other premises of the yearly value of not less than ten pounds occupied for the purpose of the business, profession, or trade of the person to be registered.

2. A man shall be entitled to be registered as a parliamentary elector for a university constituency if he is of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity, and has received a degree (other than an honorary degree) at any university forming, or forming part of, the constituency, or in the case of the Scottish universities is qualified under section twenty-seven of the Representation of the People (Scotland) Act, 1868, or in the case of the University of Dublin has either received a degree (other than an honorary degree) at the university, or has obtained a scholarship or fellowship in the university whether before or after the passing of this Act.

3. A man shall be entitled to be registered as a local government elector for a local government electoral area, if he is of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity, and—

(a) is on the last day of the qualifying period occupying, as owner or tenant, any land or premises in that area; and

(b) has, during the whole of the qualifying period, so occupied any land or premises in that area, or, if that area is not an administrative county or a county borough, in any administrative county or county borough in which the area is wholly or partly situate. . .

4.—(1) A woman shall be entitled to be registered as a parliamentary elector for a constituency (other than a university constituency) if she—

(a) has attained the age of thirty years; and

(b) is not subject to any legal incapacity; and

(c) is entitled to be registered as a local government elector in respect of the occupation in that constituency of land or premises (not being a dwelling-house) of a yearly value of not less than five pounds or of a dwelling-house, or is the wife of a husband entitled to be so registered.

(2) A woman shall be entitled to be registered as a parliamentary elector for a university constituency if she has attained the age of thirty years and either would be entitled to be so registered if she were a man, or has been admitted to and passed the final examination, and kept under the conditions required of women by the university the period of residence, necessary for a man to obtain a degree at any university forming, or forming part of, a university constituency which did not at the time the examination was passed admit women to degrees.

(3) A woman shall be entitled to be registered as a local government elector for any local government electoral area—

(a) where she would be entitled to be so registered if she were a man; and

(b) where she is the wife of a man who is entitled to be so registered in respect of premises in which they both reside, and she has attained the age of thirty years and is not subject to any legal incapacity.

For the purpose of this provision, a naval or military voter who is registered in respect of a residence qualification which he would have had but for his service, shall be deemed to be resident in accordance with the qualification. . .

6. The qualifying period1 shall be a period of six months ending either on the fifteenth day of January, or the fifteenth day of July, including in each case the fifteenth day. . .

8.—(1) Every person registered as a parliamentary elector for any constituency shall, while so registered (and in the case of a woman notwithstanding sex or marriage), be entitled to vote at an election of a member to serve in Parliament for that constituency; but a man shall not vote at a general election for more than one constituency for which he is registered by virtue of a residence qualification or for more than one constituency for which he is registered by virtue of other qualifications of whatever kind, and a woman shall not vote at a general election for more than one constituency for which she is registered by virtue of her own or her husband’s local government qualification, or for more than one constituency for which she is registered by virtue of any other qualification.

(2) A person registered as a local government elector for any local government electoral area shall while so registered (and in the case of a woman notwithstanding sex or marriage) be entitled to vote at a local government election for that area; but where, for the purposes of election, any such area is divided into more than one ward or electoral division, by whatever name called, a person shall not be entitled to vote for more than one such ward or electoral division.

Notwithstanding anything in this provision a person may be registered for more than one such ward or division of a local government electoral area (not being a municipal borough), and may vote in any such ward or division for which he is registered at an election to fill a casual vacancy.

(3) A naval or military voter who is registered in respect of a qualification which he would have had but for his service shall be deemed for the purpose of this section to be registered by virtue of that qualification.

9.—(1) A person shall not be disqualified from being registered or from voting as a parliamentary or local government elector by reason that he or some person for whose maintenance he is responsible has received poor relief or other alms. . .

(3) A person shall not be entitled to be registered or to vote as a parliamentary or local government elector if he is not a British subject, and nothing contained in this Act shall, except as expressly provided therein, confer on any person who Is subject to any legal incapacity to be registered or to vote either as a parliamentary or local government elector any right to be so registered or to vote.

(4) A person shall not be disqualified from voting at any election as a parliamentary or local government elector by reason that he is employed for payment by or on behalf of a candidate at such election, so long as the employment is legal.

(5) Any incapacity of a peer to vote at an election arising from the status of a peer shall not extend to peeresses in their own right. . .

1 Especially by the provisions printed in No. 15, infra.

2 V., e.g., Nos. 56–61, infra.

1 This provision was, by Economy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1926, 16 & 17 Geo. 5, Ch. 9, Third Schedule, replaced with the following words: "The qualifying period shall be three mouths ending on the first day of June. . ."

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Chicago: "The Fourth Reform Act," Source Book on the Government of England in Source Book on the Government of England, ed. R. K. Gooch [Robert Kent] (1893-) (New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1939), 20–23. Original Sources, accessed October 23, 2019, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=YTDREMUR6M2Y173.

MLA: . "The Fourth Reform Act." Source Book on the Government of England, in Source Book on the Government of England, edited by R. K. Gooch [Robert Kent] (1893-), New York, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1939, pp. 20–23. Original Sources. 23 Oct. 2019. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=YTDREMUR6M2Y173.

Harvard: , 'The Fourth Reform Act' in Source Book on the Government of England. cited in 1939, Source Book on the Government of England, ed. , D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., New York, pp.20–23. Original Sources, retrieved 23 October 2019, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=YTDREMUR6M2Y173.